Cold, wintry winds rip loose construction scaffolding at 12th and John

(Image: @ShellyShelly via Twitter)

An under construction Capitol Hill microhousing development became one of the city’s centers of attention Sunday as a cold winter storm blew into Seattle and tore loose scaffolding while sending a wall of plastic sheeting into a flapping fit at 12th and John.

Traffic in the area was detoured for hours and the sidewalk closed after the scaffolding came loose and could be seen rocking and swaying in the wind. Continue reading

Capitol Hill renters group to send ‘housing justice’ Valentines to elected officials

The Capitol Hill Renters Initiative, the community group formed to help give renters a voice in the city’s political and development processes, wants to spread some love this Valentine’s Day to local elected officials and community organizations about “housing justice and related issues.”

Capitol Hill Renters Initiative – General Meeting

The group’s February meeting naturally falls on Valentine’s Day so it plans to spend a portion of the night eating chocolate and making Valentines using postcards from neighborhood artist — and renter — Myra Lara. Lara is also a member of the CHRI leadership committee.

If you’re interested in getting involved, next week’s meeting should be a fun way to check out the group. They’ll also be be talking safe consumption sites. Bring some ideas for creative poetry — “Mike O’Brien, how do i love thee? Let me count the ways…” — and a pen. You can also borrow some inspiration from CHS.

CHS Comics | Capitol Hill Valentines

 

Morfire’s hot pot will warm you up on 12th Ave

CHS took a summer news break last year after ten years in the business. We’ve mostly caught up but there are a few stories from that dark period in Capitol Hill history that need to be told. One warm story we’ll shine some light on this dreary, drizzly January happened on 12th Ave, where Monchaya “Taup” Paitoonnerarmit opened Morfire with its “do it yourself” hot pots and Thai specialties. We caught up with Taup and made a recent visit to check out what we had missed.

“In the past couple decades, Thai food has made its way into one of the common cuisines in the US, especially in Seattle where there are hundreds of Thai restaurants,” Taup says about the proliferation of Thai in the city. “But there’s been one type of the Thai cuisines missing from the area, Thai hot pot.” Continue reading

Baking for both sides of Capitol Hill’s Gluten Divide: Q&A with Toby Matasar

Toby Matasar is rapidly diversifying her mini-empire of baked goods on Capitol Hill.

A second-generation pastry chef trained in New York and Paris who moved here in 2000, Matasar gained a loyal following running Eats Market Café in West Seattle for a decade. Following the cafe’s 2015 closure, Matasar started a new venture, the Niche Gluten Free Café and Bakery on 12th Ave across from Seattle U, which coincided with her own transition to a paleo diet. In 2017, she bought Crumble & Flake on E Olive Way from acclaimed baker Neil Robertson.

The two daytime eateries are now doing brisk business serving both sides of the gluten divide. Matasar continues to expand and adapt their menus, and she speaks with enthusiasm about her evolving craft and growing clientele. I asked Matasar a few questions about her upcoming plans (French ice cream! Candy!) and the challenges she faces balancing decadence with dietary restrictions.

Is baking a science, an art, or some sort of alchemy? It’s both a science and an art. Those are good words to describe it. There’s definitely a science side to it—you have to be willing to be very technical and the procedures have to be the same every time. There’s definitely an art to it, too, because it’s very visual—you have to know what the bubbles are supposed to look like on your caramel, what the batter should look like. You can’t just look at the picture in a book and expect to get it right if you’re not aware of the ripeness of the fruit or the humidity for certain cakes and cookies and whatnot. Also, a lot of art goes into the techniques for plating, which is the beautiful part because I’m the worst artist. This is my only medium—I can’t draw at all! Continue reading

Why Roy Street Commons, a short-term rental exception, stands alone on Capitol Hill

When the Seattle City Council passed a set of regulations designed to boost affordability by reeling in short-term rentals, one Capitol Hill property owner got very lucky.

The regulations passed in December generally restricted the number of housing units a person can operate as a short-term rental to a unit in their own home, plus one more unit. There were a couple exceptions which allowed for grandfathering operators of properties to continue doing so, with some restrictions which vary by where in the city the units are. The rules will go into effect January 1st, 2019.

But there was one more exception.

A very carefully worded exemption which seems to apply only to a single building in Seattle — the Roy Street Commons at 621 12th Ave E. Continue reading

Now a teen, Children’s Film Festival Seattle celebrates all-ages cinema on 12th Ave

While we’re talking about a new kid-friendly hangout added to Capitol Hill, let’s talk about one of the neighborhood’s greatest ongoing kid events. The Children’s Film Festival Seattle returns to the Northwest Film Forum later this month. Like most things child-oriented in Seattle, parents need to get on the ball early to make sure their wee ones have spots at the pancake table:

The family-friendly extravaganza celebrates the best and brightest in international cinema that is age-appropriate for ages 2-14, and will include 168 films from 55 nations, spanning the globe from North to South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The festival includes animation and live-action shorts, features, and hands-on filmmaking workshops, all crafted with care to appeal to a wide range of age groups.

This year’s festival runs January 25th to February 10th with screenings at NWFF’s 12th Ave theater following an opening night party at the Egyptian.

Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2018

“We want children to come to the festival not only to be entertained by funny and fantastic films, but also to discover common ground, to build empathy and envision their places in the wider world,” director Elizabeth Shepherd said in this year’s announcement of the 13th year for the film fest. Continue reading

Please report your paintball gun-toting asshole friends who drive a red Fiat to police, thanks

If you know assholes with a paintball gun who like to shoot at people from a red Fiat, give SPD a call. 9-1-1 works fine. They’re looking for information after a string of reported paintball drive-bys around Capitol Hill last week.

On Monday, November 20th around 9:30 PM, three people reported to Seattle University campus security that they were shot at by a male and his crew of cool friends in a red car on 12th Ave.

Police responded to another paintball shooting on 13th Ave near Pine on Tuesday night around 10 PM in which a male was hit in the leg. While police responded to that call, another reported shooting in South Seattle provided police with a partial plate of the vehicle used in that attack. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Be Bop Bars installation finds temporary home in Capitol Hill Housing’s 12th Ave Arts

12th Ave Arts played host to a unique musical experience during Thursday night’s Capitol Hill Art Walk. The “Be Bop Bars,” designed by Encore Architects in collaboration with JazzED, is an “interactive musical experience powered by people!” designed for the musician in all of us. A safe, low-voltage electric circuit completed by human touch, helps create a melody as you move from bar to bar. Continue reading

Ramen Hill: A brief tour of Capitol Hill’s ramen goodness

The recipe that has peaked the summit of Ramen Hill has some recurring ingredients: A legendary Japanese ramen house brings its proprietary broth recipe and one of a kind noodles to America, usually through a subsidiary or franchise, with one of its first if not only locations right here on Capitol Hill. Other recipes — like tiny Ooink — are entirely unique. But the trend is undeniable — Capitol Hill is now filled with ramen.

By CHS’s count, only four new Japanese noodle places have opened up on Capitol Hill in the past year. But with a small wave of openings in recent years, we have now reached a point that must be near broth saturation point. Below, join us for a brief tour of the newest slurp-y goodness now available to warm your rainy days on the Hill. Continue reading

Plum Chopped tucks into 12th Ave with lunch for 10 bucks

If she were upset about it, you would not be able to blame Makini Howell. In 2015, she opened Sugar Plum on 15th Ave E in her usual low-key way that put the vegan and plant-based treats and soft-serve ice cream before any hype. Now, Howell smiles as she has watched as the first six months of her latest new hype-free but extremely delicious thing quietly settle into its niche on 12th Ave next to her long-loved Plum.

Plum Chopped opened about six months ago, Howell says, and is filling in a major gap in the Capitol Hill daytime food chain.

“The idea is a quick healthy lunch on the Hill that won’t break your bank,” Howell said. “Lunch for $10.” Continue reading